Myths and Facts about Female Weight Training
In the last 30 years there has been extensive studies done on the advantage of strength training. Women who never lift anything heavier than a hairdryer or a shopping bag are doing themselves a disservice, the health benefits gained from strength training is only part of the benefit.
So what has stopped women getting into strength training the way men have? The answer unfortunately is women generally have been affected by the many female training myths. Although there are a lot more than the ones listed below, these are the important ones.
Female training myth # 1: Lifting heavy weight will make you bulky
This is simply impossible because you need testosterone to build muscle and a female has 20 times less daily testosterone production than a man so the chances of you putting on too much muscle too quickly are non-existent. If bulky means fat then you need to eat less calories.
Female training myth # 2: The muscle you build will turn into fat
Fat and muscle are not related to each other. If you stop training with weights and eat the same calories you were eating to keep your muscle, the muscle will disappear and it will be replaced with fat. But they are not related, building muscle does not need to have fat around.
Female training myth # 3: Cardio will burn more-fat than weights
Studies going back to the early 1990's prove different, with the discovery of high intensity interval training (HIIT) sports science continues to experiment with both men and women to find the fastest way to burn calories. When weight training is done correctly it can far outreach the calories burnt doing medium intensity cardio.
Female training myth #4: Tone and Shape
For years the media has insisted on convincing the female public that you can change the shape of a muscle. The shape of your body and the shape of your muscles are genetically determined, you can only change the size but not the shape.
Female training myth #5 You can spot reduce fat
Personally I think this myth is outdated as everyone knows that if you want to lose fat it cannot only come from one place on your body. Your body is genetically programed to store fat and is beyond your control. When you lose fat it should be measured in total body-fat as one cannot lose fat only on your arms or tummy.
Female training myth #6: Lots of high reps with a light weight
This has been extensively studied and it shows there are two components when gaining strength. The metabolic factor and the neural factor on how strength affects the way a message is sent to the muscles. Research proves that training high reps has a metabolic effect on the muscles whereas low reps with a heavy weight will affect the important neural factor.
Without getting too complicated this means that a female bodybuilder, just like male bodybuilders should do both low reps with heavy weight as well as high reps with a light weight to get the best advantage of both worlds.
Female training myth #7: One eating and training plan will work for all women
This is obviously not true because we all chose our parents differently which means we all react differently to eating a certain way and training a certain way. What training with weights for a women will do besides getting them to look good, it will have a direct effect on your high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes and obesity including all the factors that affect heart disease.
Female training myth #8 Women should train differently to men
There is no conclusive proof that shows men should train any different to men. Today we see women's boxing, women's hockey, rugby and soccer plus many other sports, all relying on the same muscle hand-eye co-ordination as men. There is no reason women should train differently.